Definition of Baldness
Baldness: Medically known as alopecia. There are many types of baldness, each with a different cause. Baldness may be localized to the front and top of the head, as in the very common type of male-pattern baldness; baldness may be patchy, a condition called alopecia areata; or a variant of alopecia areata may involve the entire head: alopecia capitis totalis. The word "alopecia" comes from the Greek "alopex" for "fox." Foxes are less furry when afflicted with a skin disease called the "mange" which causes them to lose their hair. When a fancier word for "baldness" was sought, the mangy fox supplied it, "alopecia" or, if you wish, "fox-mange," not a very positive image to associate with baldness.
Last Editorial Review: 5/13/2016
Back to MedTerms online medical dictionary A-Z List
Need help identifying pills and medications?